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The School: the sonorous, the audible and the silenced | Manifesta13 Marseille

Manifesta is the European Nomadic Biennial that changes location every two years. Founded in the early 1990s, Manifesta rethinks the relation between culture and society, investigating and catalysing positive social change through contemporary culture in response to and in close dialogue with the social sphere of the host cities and their communities.

Our fellow Yalda Afsah is featured with her cinematic works as part of The School at Le Conservatoire. Focusing on different encounters between human and animal, Yalda Afsah’s practice continuously explores the possibilities for cinematically constructing filmic space. At the same time, the documentary character of her films fluidly transitions into forms of theatricality. Tourneur (2018) and Vidourle (2019) both document a kind of bullfight practiced in the South of France; meanwhile, Centaur (2020) portrays the classical dressage of horses. Each of these films capture a strange choreography on screen, which could respectively be described as a ritual, a spectacle, a game or a fight – performative acts translated into filmic abstractions.

While the bullfight is a meeting marked by unpredictability, the animals’ movements in dressage are controlled down to the finest detail and seem far removed from the categories of nature, drive or instinct. The insight into how these animals are handled reveals an ambivalence between care and control, physical strength and broken will, instinct and artifice. Afsah allows her protagonists to dissolve these dichotomies – a symbiosis that leaves space for the audience to evaluate the possibility of an overarching empathy between the species, which seems rooted in mutual vulnerability.


When? Where?

October 9th - November 29th 2020

Le Conservatoire

2 place Auguste et François Carli, Marseille 13001

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